Holy Land Pilgrimage Day 1
Photos by Lisa Nelson and Ucheoma Longe
Great day of sightseeing! On our bus ride this morning, our guide gave a short history lesson on the country and architecture. Our first stop was the Church of the Multiplication. In our lesson we learned about Byzantine design which was beautifully displayed in the floor mosaic of the two fish and basket with four loaves. The windows were made of alabaster and allowed a creamy light to fill the space. Icons of The Madonna and St Joseph, rather than statues, were displayed on either side of the altar. A quick walk down the road we saw a second church, Church of the Primacy of Peter. This property is owned and managed by the Franciscans. The church was rebuilt in 1933 but is based on the fourth century layout. At the altar you find a large sign reading "Mensa Christi" translated from Latin it means Table of Christ. It is at this location that Jesus is believed to have restored Peter with his three questions while serving breakfast.
We hopped back on the bus and visited a third church property - The Church of the Beatitudes. It is in this area that Jesus possibly delivered the famous teaching of the beatitudes. The structure was built in the late 1930's and designed by an Italian architect. The sanctuary is octagonal, representing the eight Beatitudes. The view of the Sea of Galilee was stunning. Two popes have visited this location and monument signs testified to the event.
Back to the bus for a short ride to Capernaum where we walked the site that Jesus quite possibly taught! Amazing examples of synagogues built over old buildings. There was a modern worship space built over Peter's mother in law's home.
After four churches we were ready for a break and ate fresh fish caught that day on the lake, fresh baked pita and humus - just like Jesus would have had it. After lunch we ventured to long boats for a quick trip and lesson on the Sea of Galilee. We had a few rough waves, thanks to jet skis, yet no one could command the waves to be still...or walk on water.
It was a full day! Looking forward to tomorrow's adventure!